MLB postseason predictions: What to expect from each series

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MLB postseason predictions: What to expect from each series

Graphic by Garon Hunt

Graphic by Garon Hunt

Graphic by Garon Hunt

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The 2019 World Series playoffs are in full swing, with eight teams still vying for their chance to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of the month. As it currently stands, the league is in the midst of the divisional round of the playoffs, with two more rounds remaining.Currently, the American League has completed two games each, and the National League is playing their third games.

American League Divisional Series

The New York Yankees are  leading the Minnesota Twins two games to none as the series moves to Minnesota. The Yankees have overwhelmed the Twins thus far in the series, and the typically high-flying Minnesota offense has looked rather stagnant. I don’t expect the Twins to go out quietly, but the Yankees will take the series 3-1. 

In the other ALDS matchup, the Houston Astros have been surgical in their decimation of the Tampa Bay Rays. While Houston hasn’t lit up the scoreboard with high scores, the pitching has been so dominant that the Rays haven’t stood a chance. The series is shifting to Tampa, where the Astros have historically performed nowhere near their usual. Houston will still take the series 3-1.

National League Division Series

I did not expect the series between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers to be as competitive as it is, but the Nats are putting up a hell of a fight. I expected the Dodgers to cruise through the playoffs, but as it stands the series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 being played at the time of writing. It’ll be a close series, but the Dodgers will take it in Game 5.

The series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves is as fun and competitive as we hoped it would be. All of the stars from each team are stepping up during their time in the spotlight, and they are coming through for their teams. Currently, the Braves lead the series 2-1, but I expect it to go to a Game 5 with the Braves moving on to face the Dodgers. 

American League Championship Series

The matchup between the Yankees and the Astros is sure to be a barn burner. Both teams have played like the best two teams in baseball all year, and they will have a chance to duke it out for superiority and a shot at the title. The Yankees are carried by their strong bats and bullpen, while the Astros are anchored by the best starting rotation in baseball with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke. 

Whichever team wins this series will win the World Series: I can guarantee you that. Just like in 2017, this series will come to a decisive Game 7, with the Astros winning the pennant and heading to the World Series for the second time in three years. Alex Bregman will be the series MVP.

National League Championship Series

While I don’t expect this series to be quite as close as the ALCS, it will still be competitive and fun to watch. The potential Game 1 matchup of Walker Buelher versus Dallas Keuchel has the chance to be an incredible pitching battle. I’m tempted to say it will also need a Game 7 like the ALCS, but I think the Dodgers will take it in six very competitive games. Cody Bellinger will take home the series MVP.

World Series

The rematch everyone has been waiting for: the Astros versus the Dodgers. The Dodgers will be looking to avenge their back to back World Series losses, while the Astros will be looking to add their second trophy to the shelf. 

While typically I’d expect a super close series, I think that having home field advantage in Houston could be detrimental to LA, as Houston had far and away the best home record this season. My generous prediction is that the Astros win the series in six games, and the Dodgers become the ‘90s Buffalo Bills of baseball and lose several consecutive championships. My gut tells me that either Verlander or Cole will end up with series MVP honors.